So I started to think. Always a terrible thing. I’m like that. One minute I’m going one way, then I think about it and start marching another. Like EE viable. Why do we need to be that? If I don’t really care about beating everything on EE, then why do I even bother if something is ‘viable’ or not? Seems that was always my ultimate goal even as I built for flavor and gear. And it’s really true in all games we play. We play, to be playing on a level with legends, when the reality is few of us want to drag our knees across broken glass to get there.
I don’t envy the ones people call elite. Some of them are terrific people. Others plain a holes. And I couldn’t care less to be within a spitting distance of people who are ‘elite of elite’. I always wanted to. Not to be elite, but to be the best of the best as a personal goal, until I realized I was. But not consistently or even intentionally. I just do by virtue of playing. I see people asking for ‘lists’. So they can rank themselves against others. Which is fine. I really don’t care. But when that spills over into my play, less so in DDO but a lot of it in other games – it makes me sad. Because I work each day for a living and playing DDO and other games is my escape. From the regular family drama, from the daily interaction with regular people with drama and most of all work.
So any time I encounter ‘work’ in games – as in mundane silly tasks meant to remove fun and introduce work, I try to avoid it.
This is one of the reason why I more or less gave up on World of Tanks. Not the work part; but the a holes gamer part. In there it’s team against team without a ‘solo’ experience or anything. Which was fine. Until 2 things happened. The devs decided to dilute the arsenal with ever more powerful and unbalanced vehicles and the ‘elite’ (read exploiters) gravitated towards it and destroyed regular game play. I did well. In fact for not being affiliated with clans and for just playing my game I was right up there in the top 5-15% dependent on vehicle. But I had to deal with lots of a holes on a daily basis. And when some vehicles that I liked to play become worthless through imbalance I said to myself that no amount of ‘fun’ can ever replace the frustrating back paddling of dealing with imbalance and a holes.
Notice a parallel to DDO? Exploiter builds. The thing is tho, they don’t bother me as much in DDO for most part. I can solo – I don’t have to deal with people if I don’t want to. And since this is not PvP, I don’t have to deal with grief from emotionally immature post-teens. But the downside as we’ve seen is that when there are exploits, the devs build content to counter that. And when they do you get an imbalance that directly effect certain classes.
I kinda laugh when exploiters ask for Turbine to let them keep evading with their large and tower shields. I laugh because it’s so silly. But that’s where we are now. It doesn’t effect me since I don’t play exploiter builds and I realize the reason why I play around with flavor is because I don’t feel that I HAVE to play that in order to be ‘viable’. I’m not trying to set a record. I’m not trying to solo a specific raid. I’m just trying to have fun. And now when a realize that I am good despite not exploiting build options I feel better.
World of Tanks remain a distance interest mostly for how it was broken and the player community. I sometimes go back but after 2-3 plays I’m done. I’m also done with Warframe for many other reasons. I had a good build, I spent lots of time and then they released the ‘Kudrow’ addition and things got stupid and boring. Lots of the mood music changed on some of my favorite maps and the overall flavor evaporated. My ‘harvesters’ became unavailable because they made some changes to maps where you had to also unlock mission that include ‘tower’ type play (catch and hold towers for so long – which is near impossible solo and it takes forever to fill). And since I couldn’t empty nor repair the harvesters until I unlock those last missions per planet they were eventually destroyed from damage over time and my investment in building them was lost.
And so was my interest.
Now I play Defiance. And it’s been fun. It’s buggy as heck with lag outs in pivotal moments that resets your progress. That’s really bad if you got to the end in what can arguably be called raids and you get disconnected and when you come back in your ranking is toast – and since ranking decided some of the loot roll (as I gather it) being reset to the middle of the pack having spent a good 30 or so more minutes getting to the end you sorta get frustrated. But here’s the thing. I usually do well. I do so even playing with people who have played from the start of the servers. And that’s because as a player I know my stuff. Not bragging here; but I’m good at games. The idea, the features and the concepts I build comes easy to me. Just as World of Tanks came easy to me until they broken the balance of the game.
Just as I normally do well in DDO using all the resources available to me.
So do I need to be elite/legendary viable?
Long rant, short answer. No. I don’t. When the light is shut off in the server room and the plug is pulled, nothing will matter anymore – other then what I did, how I did it and the entertainment value I got out of it. I’ll remember my exploits and fun. And my rank against someone else won’t be the thing I remember. I remember dying the first time in DDO. My FvS in Macabre. Ambushed. I remember having my 2nd GS con op item and soloing Shavarath when it was something to do. I remember the first step into Kings Forest, the green, the shadows and the ambiance.
I remember being there when we first defeated X boss and last before the raid got out of style. I remember the distinct feel of one toon over another. Learning new ways to defeat old quests. Forgetting some quests and coming back years later and have that feeling of new and old. Smiling as I noticed the old and the things I’ve never realized before.
I remember tanking when it was interesting. Positioning myself so I maximized armor when armor meant something. I remember disabling and destroyed a massive heavy tank through tactical effort. I remember the skill before it lost value. I remember with shaking hands, high on adrenaline being the last one left on my team in a light tank, having destroyed 6 other enemy tanks and coming up against their last heavy – I knew how to aim and it would just take one hit from them to nail me.
But he missed and I knew I could nail him good before he reloaded. And I won.
Just as I beat myself up for falling short another time. But feeling that it was close, it was fun and that I had experienced something.
These are the things I’ll remember. Not being number 1 in rank yet again in a Defiance ‘raid’. Or having most kills in DDO in x quest/raid. I remember the small moments. The feelings. The escape. Where I wasn’t a dad to 3 kids, husband. Where I didn’t have to bring home the bacon and pay bills. Where I didn’t have to deal with a holes that came off the train and right away had to smoke – standing upwind and let it blow down wind on me and others.
The guy zig zagging in traffic and riding my bumper. The sick guy that had to sit down behind me and sat there and sneezed and coughed the entire ride. The old woman in front of me holding up the line first writing down everything in her check book for balance BEFORE paying with check and then complaining about something that she claimed was discounted. Amounting to cents on the dollar.
Or my son breaking wind as he sits DOWN in the car as suppose outside before.
Yeah – that’s why I ultimately play games. Not because I want to be the best eventho I know I’m good at it. But because I try to escape all those things that I live through without going out of my mind. EE viable? I am by virtue of my love for games – deliberately escaping the mundane of dying one day at the time on this mortal coil. There won’t be any monuments over my accomplishment. But then only I get to relive the good times in my mind as the day by day grinds my time away.